weather doesn't effect a regional ice company the way it effects a local one. IE: if it is raining in Miami there is good weather in Dallas and vise versa, it all evens out over the course of the year. As for preparing for a big holiday such as the 4th of July, typically ice companies make as much as they can, store it up and pray they do not run short. If they do run short big accounts get the Ice and little accounts get shorted. Unless your are are a large regional company like Package Ice. when you run out of ice on Florida you ship it from Indiana and loss money in the process. P.I. does not charge for added cost of shipping. As far tech resource for evaluating performance the Ice Industry is STONE AGE... There is only one measurement did we sell more or less ice than last year? As for the 4th of July, nobody has ever made money or lost money for the year based on what they did for sales on the 4th of July. It is just one day in 365 days of the year though it be a good one.
Understand your answer. Would it seem prudent for the Ice Industry to move from the Stone Age to the 21st century? Part of what made their stock interesting was the technology in the bagger system. Seems as though the carrot that was held out for investors was a virtual carrot. When the investors bit on it, there was nothing but air.
The traditional ice business seemed like the meat and potatoes. While the retailers were going through the learning curve and accepting the new technology, the old ice delivery method would be there to make them feel secure. Obviously, there are businesse requiring ice that may not meet the profile for an in-store bagger, and those would be continued to be served from the traditional plants, but perhaps in an innovative way. The rising prices in gasoline, and no way to control it, the loss of an ice plant due to fire, the ammonia accident - all of these things would seem like enough boost for someone to 'invest the better mouse trap'.
Guess I should have been more prudent when the terms 'disruptive technology' was used to style the bagger machine technology. The bagger should really help control the disruptions. Seems like if you have a problem with 10 bagger machines, it would not impact your business like an entire ice plant disappearing, or your cost to run your entire rolling stock increases by 50% - 100% in a few months.
The company got on the radar screen by promoting its technology. What has happend within for it to have regressed? How can a company that made news, raised funding, purchased competitors based on technology be so far behind in managing its operations with technology? Is that the real reason they left the Nasdaq? They gave up on technology and went back to doing business the old way once they gained market share. Don't they realize that someone else is going to be the Packaged Ice of their market if they don't get back out there and start leading their market in innovation?
In response to your question in your posting of June 28 in regard to "how could a company get so far behind?", think in basic terms of EBITDA Margin and Return On Capital. There is a major gag between what is and what could be...rather than be redundant see many of my earlier postings for more detail regarding this industry and value potential thereof.
This "disruptive technology" has been around long before PI came on the scene. Aim Mfg. out of Wichita Falls, Texas I believe was the first company to manufacture an on premise machine that made ice , bagged it,heat sealed the bag and dropped into the ice merchandiser.This was back in the 1970's. The disruptive part is when PI used this technology to go into markets and sell this idea to large grocery chains then after getting the business they would apprroach the local plants and tell them they had lost all of their large accounts, so they could either sell out to them or ..else. My admiration goes out to the plants that haven't sold out due to intimidation a but have hung in there.